With star Steve Nash injured and backup point guard Steve Blake also injured the Los Angeles Lakers are short their top two point guards. This looked like a situation where having four point guards on the roster was a positive.
Second year player Darius Morris, who surpassed Chris Duhon for the starting job after Blake was injured, has been doing well with the minutes he has been given but is still looking to improve his performance.
In 19 games from last season Darius totaled 46 points. With 15 games and 8 starts this season Darius has scored 83 points and doing his best to lead the Lakers to victories within their new system.
“I just thank my teammates for giving me that confidence,” Morris said. “Thank God, most importantly, but also my coaching staff as well, just telling me to go out there and play. Really just trying to simplify it for me. Steve Nash has been giving me some great advice as well, so people around me are really helping me.”
In the Princeton offense Darius was a step ahead of the rest of the team as they ran pieces of it during his lone season at Michigan. With new head coach Mike D’Antoni’s offensive system Darius has succeeded in averaging career highs in every statistic. However the most important piece to Darius’ success would be having Steve Nash teaching him the ins and outs.
“Just how to simplify the game,” Morris said. “How to get to the elbows, make reads. If a big man steps up, telling me things to look for, what type of reads, look at the wings. Especially in the pick-and-roll. He’s really been helping me in the pick-and-roll and he’s probably one of the best to ever play the pick-and-roll, so I’m really fortunate to have him here.”
While Darius is improving, he is far from the type of production needed to maintain balance with the Lakers shaky play. Against Indiana, he scored one point shooting 0-6 and had 0 assists. When asked about Darius’ play coach D’Antoni said “We got to keep slowing him down.” Meaning that needs to play within himself rather than trying to more than what is needed at the time.
He can still use me, when both Steves come back, off the ball and also playing point guard as well,” Morris said. “So, I guess in his offense there’s room for all of us on the court, so that was good to hear. But I got to keep getting better every day.”
Despite Darius struggles he still is being motivated to improve and to play belter daily. Darius has always been the type of player that stayed after practice to work on his shooting and ball-handling, eventually he hard work will pay off and pay dividends for the Lakers and himself.
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